Taliban: Preliminary deal made with Qatar to open political office
The Taliban have finally confirmed plans to open a political headquarters, ostensibly in Qatar, for peace negotiations. Previously, the Afghan group’s spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid had said only that he was “unaware” of any such move.
In a statement emailed out to international news organizations today, Mujahid said:
“Right now, having a strong presence in Afghanistan, we still want to have a political office for negotiations.”
“In this regard, we have started preliminary talks and we have reached a preliminary understanding with relevant sides, including the government of Qatar, to have a political office for negotiations with the international community.”
The Afghan government also confirmed its support for such an office last week, after first recalled its ambassador to Qatar for “consultations.”
Reports from Afghanistan’s Tolo News in the past week have stated that Taliban leaders have already relocated to Doha to open the office, which is meant to be a headquarters for peace talks with the US and the Afghan government.
Credit: Photo of Afghan police courtesy of ISAF Media